Issue #118 September 19, 2006

PowerPoint Tip – Equipment Connections

In my webinar this week on Setting Up for a Worry Free Presentation, one of the items I will be covering is how to connect the equipment you will need for your presentation. I’ll go into more details on the webinar, but want to outline some of the most important basics today. The two most important pieces of equipment you will likely be using are a projector and your computer. The most obvious connection is to connect the display port of the computer to the display input of the projector. This is usually done using a cable that connects to the VGA port of the computer and a computer input port on the projector (sometimes a VGA port and sometimes a special port for that projector). Two other connections seem so obvious that they are usually taken for granted – the power cords for the projector and the laptop. While it may seem obvious, I have seen people struggle to figure out why the projector isn’t working when it was simply the cord not being plugged in. And I have seen laptops display a low battery warning in front of 1,200 people because the cord wasn’t plugged in. So while they may be too obvious for many, top presenters always make sure the power cords are plugged in and working properly. If you are plugging in to a power bar, which I always suggest you do to protect your equipment, make sure it is turned on – I have personal experience on forgetting this detail. When you have the computer and projector connected, make sure you set the laptop into the display mode so you see the slides on the laptop screen and the slides are displayed on the projector. There is usually a key combination on your laptop that toggles between three display modes: 1) laptop screen only, 2) external display only (the projector) or 3) both laptop screen and external display. It seems that every laptop is different, so while it is Fn+F8 on my Dell laptop, it will likely be different on your laptop. That covers the basic connections between laptop computer and projector. On the webinar I will also cover connecting other equipment, as well as choices in room setup, how to effectively test your slides, the difference between practice and rehearsal and the best way to create a backup of your presentation. To sign up for the webinar, go to .